Exterior School Doors to be Checked Across Texas Following Uvalde Shooting

The Texas Education Agency announced plans to check the locks on hundreds of thousands of exterior school doors across Texas. The news comes after the deadliest school shooting in Texas history left 19 children dead along with two teachers at Robb Elementary in Uvalde.

The agency will check external entry points at each school in Texas, which equates to around 340,000 doors at 9,000 schools. According to TEA Commissioner Mike Morath, the agency will evaluate school facilities to determine if repairs are needed and review each district’s safety protocols and meetings held between state officials and each district’s school safety committee.

“There are several immediate action steps that are being taken to significantly improve the level of safety in the fall,” Morath said.

The TEA’s plan was unveiled on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, during testimony before the Special Texas Senate Committee to Protect All Texans. Morath promised lawmakers that his agency’s move to check doors and review safety plans would be completed by summer’s end.

According to CBSNews Dallas Fort Worth, an audit by the Texas School Safety Center in 2022 found that only 200 school districts (out of 1,022) have a viable active shooter policy. The audit also found that 196 districts had insufficient policies and 626 had none.

Criticism has been swift following the shooting at Robb Elementary, as officials question the response of local law enforcement, particularly decisions made by Pete Arredondo, the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District police chief.

“One hour, 14 minutes and 8 seconds. That’s how long the children waited, and the teachers waited in rooms 111 (and 112) to be rescued,” Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw said. “And while they waited, the on-scene commander waited for radio and rifles; and he waited for shields and he waited for SWAT.”

McCraw also described law enforcement’s response to the shooting as an “abject failure.”

Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin recently announced that officials plan to raze Robb Elementary School.

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